Southpointe Academy has temporarily withdrawn its proposal to build a $4.5 million joint-use recreation facility with the City of Delta.
In a news release issued Monday afternoon, Southpointe Head of School Gordon MacIntyre, said Southpointe Academy is taking a step back from the proposal for a shared sports dome at Grauer Park to allow more time for the school and project partner, the City of Delta, to engage with public stakeholders.
Mayor George Harvie confirmed the move at the start of Delta’s council meeting on Monday.
MacIntyre said that when they responded to Delta’s public sports summits in May 2019 and March 2021 to enhance community sports amenities in South Delta, they received immediate support from various sports associations, including hockey, baseball and basketball.
Along with Southpointe, these groups see the tremendous benefit of having a state-of-the-art, year-round training facility close to home, he said, acknowledging there has also been opposition to the proposal.
“Any future public consultation with the City of Delta will focus on communicating more clearly the public benefits of a shared sports amenity, including the fact that the community will have majority access to the city-owned facility and at peak user times, while Southpointe covers all construction costs,” stated MacIntyre.
He added they look forward to working with the city, as well as the broader local community, to address the feedback already received before the plan is reintroduced.
“We remain hopeful that there will be an opportunity to reintroduce the proposal sometime in the future,” he said in a follow-up interview with the Optimist. “Southpointe remains committed to working with the City and we continue to respond to the Mayor’s Public Sport Summit, which clearly addressed the need in the community for additional sports facilities, so we remain interested in being part of a solution to that chronic shortage of high-quality sports facilities in South Delta to serve our youth.”
Council recently agreed to proceed to the public consultation stage and started gathering feedback the past few weeks.
A virtual public meeting that was scheduled for June 21, was cancelled Monday by council.
Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Ken Kuntz told the Optimist the city was informed by the school Monday that the proposal had been withdrawn for the time being but there’s no timeline when the proposal might be resubmitted.
Noting there’s been a lot of community feedback already, prompting the decision to pull back for now, he said the proposal may be revised.
“Clearly, there’s community response to it that needs to be addressed and in addressing it they may come back with a new or altered proposal, or they may not come back at all. We just don’t know,” explained Kuntz.-with files from Ian Jacques